nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2016‒11‒20
28 papers chosen by
Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo
Bangor University

  1. Unreal Wages? A New Empirical Foundation for the Study of Living Standards and Economic Growth in England, 1260-1860 By Jane Humphries; Jacob Weisdorf
  2. Cartagena de Indias y su tierra adentro a fines del siglo XVIII: Un análisis demográfico By Adolfo Meisel Roca
  3. Friedman's lack of influence on British economic policy By James Forder
  4. Rethinking Age-heaping, a Cautionary Tale From Nineteenth Century Italy By Brian A'Hearn; Alexia Delfino
  5. Input Shortages and the Lack of Sustainability of Bronze Production by the Únĕtice By Svizzero, Serge; Tisdell, Clem
  6. The Global Demography of Aging: Facts, Explanations, Future By David E. Bloom; Dara Lee Luca
  7. Rainfall Risk and Fertility: Evidence from Farm Settlements during the American Demographic Transition By Grimm, Michael
  8. Commercial Revolutions, Search, and Development By Maurizio Iacopetta
  9. Harry Johnson on the Phillips Curve By James Forder
  10. Patents, exhibitions and markets for innovation in the early twentieth century: Evidence from Turin 1911 International Exhibition By Domini, Giacomo
  11. The Hand-Loom Weaver and the Power Loom: A Schumpeterian Perspective By Robert Allen
  12. A productive clash of cultures : injecting economics into leadership research By Zehnder, Christian; Herz, Holger; Bonardi, Jean-Philippe
  13. Managing Political Imperatives: Strategic Responses of Philips in Australia, 1939-1945 By Pierre van der Eng
  14. Patterns of Manufacturing Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa: From Colonization to the Present By Austin, Gareth; Frankema, Ewout; Jerven, Morten
  15. The Social Background of Elite Executives: The Swedish Case By Henrekson, Magnus; Lyssarides, Odd
  16. What Piketty said in Capital in the Twenty-first Century and how economists reacted By Riccardo De Bonis
  17. Revolutionary Developments in the World Economy By Horst Hanusch
  18. The Economic Development and the Rise and Fall of Únĕtice Populations: A Case of Ecologically Unsustainable Economic Growth? Initial Thoughts By Tisdell, Clem; Svizzero, Serge
  19. What's in a Name in a War By Jurajda, Štepán; Kovač, Dejan
  20. Agrarian Contracts in Retrospect: Two Bihari Villages in 1970 By Bell, Clive
  21. Returns to Food and Agricultural R&D Investments Worldwide, 1958-2015 By Hurley, Terrance M.; Pardey, Philip G.; Rao, Xudong; Andrade, Robert S.
  22. Origins and implications of family structure across Italian provinces in historical perspective By Graziella Bertocchi; Monica Bozzano
  23. Origins and Implications of Family Structure across Italian Provinces in Historical Perspective By Bertocchi, Graziella; Bozzano, Monica
  24. Squeezing the bears: Cornering risk and limits on arbitrage during the 'British Bicycle Mania', 1896-1898 By Quinn, William
  25. Why people born during World War II are healthier By Reyn van Ewijk; Maarten Lindeboom
  26. "Financial Stability and Secure Currency in a Modern Context" By Jan Kregel
  27. Finance and income inequality: A review and new evidence By Jakob de Haan; Jan-Egbert Sturm
  28. Social impacts of renewable energy in Germany – size, history and alleviation By Dr. Jochen Dieckmann; Dr. Barbara? Breitschopf; Dr. Ulrike Lehr

  1. By: Jane Humphries; Jacob Weisdorf
    Abstract: Abstract: Existing measures of historical real wages suffer from the fundamental problem that workers’ annual incomes are estimated on the basis of day wages without knowing the length of the working year. We circumvent this problem by presenting a novel wage series of male workers employed on annual contracts. We use evidence of labour market arbitrage to argue that existing real wage estimates are badly off target, because they overestimate the medieval working year but underestimate the industrial one. Our data suggests that modern economic growth began two centuries earlier than hitherto thought and was driven by an ‘Industrious Revolution’.
    Keywords: England, industrial revolution, industrious revolution, labour input, living standards, wages, Malthusian model.
    JEL: J3 J4 J5 J6 J7 J8 N33
    Date: 2016–09–20
  2. By: Adolfo Meisel Roca (Banco de la República)
    Abstract: La huella profunda del legado colonial, en términos del enorme desbalance en desarrollo material entre las ciudades portuarias del Caribe colombiano (Cartagena, Santa Marta, Mompox), ha sido una constante de la vida republicana de la región. Ello se ha manifestado en: 1) la extrema pobreza rural, 2) la persistencia de un alto grado de urbanización y 3) las enormes desigualdades en ingresos y riqueza al interior de las zonas rurales. La gran paradoja del Caribe neogranadino a fines del siglo XVIII es que sus principales ciudades, Cartagena y Mompox, estaban dentro de las más dinámicas y prósperas a pesar de que la población de las zonas rurales era muy escasa y dispersa, y la mayoría vivía en condiciones miserables y por fuera de los ámbitos de poder colonial, como el de la Iglesia Católica. Este trabajo analiza esa escasa integración entre el Caribe urbano y el mundo rural haciendo uso de la información demográfica recolectada hacia 1777 en el Virreinato de Nueva Granada.
    Keywords: Caribe colombiano, demografía, urbanización, zonas rurales Classification JEL:N36, N76, O18
    Date: 2016–11
  3. By: James Forder
    Abstract: Using a range of sources, it is argued that, contrary to common belief, Milton Friedman had no special influence on British policy in the 1970s and 1980s. The opposing impression appears to be derived in part from the work of Friedman’s admirers, but principally from the allegations of Margaret Thatcher’s opponents who believed they could taint her with his name.
    Keywords: Friedman,monetarism,Thatcherism
    Date: 2016–09–01
  4. By: Brian A'Hearn; Alexia Delfino
    Abstract: A swelling stream of literature employs age-heaping as an indicator of human capital, more specifically of numeracy. We re-examine this connection in light of evidence drawn from nineteenth century Italy: census data, death records, and direct, qualitative evidence on age-awareness and numeracy. Though it can stand in as an acceptable proxy for literacy, our findings suggest that age-heaping is most plausibly interpreted as a broad indicator of cultural and institutional modernisation rather than a measure of cognitive skills.
    Keywords: Age-Heaping, Numeracy, Human capital, Italy
    JEL: N33 J24
    Date: 2016–10–20
  5. By: Svizzero, Serge; Tisdell, Clem
    Abstract: After a long period of prosperity, the Únĕtice (2300-1600 BC) – a central European Early Bronze Age culture –collapsed without obvious reason. Thus, the academic literature has favored multiple explanations but without providing much evidence of the latter. Our aim is to provide an empirically grounded explanation consistent with the features of this culture. We claim that the 1600 BC collapse could be the result of simultaneous shortages of two main inputs of the bronze production process, namely tin and fuel. Periodical tin shortages are possible because Únĕtician were using tin alluvial deposits. Moreover, the production of bronze requires huge quantities of wood and charcoal used as fuel, leading to deforestation. Evidence of deforestation around 1600 BC is provided.
    Keywords: Únĕtice culture, Central Europe, collapse, Early Bronze Age, stream tin, metalworking, deforestation, fuel., Community/Rural/Urban Development, N53, O1, Q32, Q4, Q53,
    Date: 2016–11
  6. By: David E. Bloom (Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health); Dara Lee Luca (Mathematica Policy Research)
    Abstract: Population ageing is the 21st century’s dominant demographic phenomenon. Declining fertility, increasing longevity, and the progression of large-sized cohorts to the older ages are causing elder shares to rise throughout the world. The phenomenon of population ageing, which is unprecedented in human history, brings with it sweeping changes in population needs and capacities, with potentially significant implications for employment, savings, consumption, economic growth, asset values, and fiscal balance. This chapter provides a broad overview of the global demography of aging. It reviews patterns, trends, and projections involving various indicators of population aging and their demographic antecedents and sequelae. The chapter also reviews theories economists use to explain the behavioral changes driving the most prominent demographic shifts. Finally, it discusses the changing nature of aging, the future of longevity, and associated policy implications, highlighting some key research issues that require further examination. JEL Codes: J11; J14; N30
    Keywords: Population aging; Economic demography; Longevity
    Date: 2016–10
  7. By: Grimm, Michael (University of Passau)
    Abstract: Fertility is a main driver and outcome of long-term growth. Yet, fertility may not only interact with the level of income but also with its volatility. In pre-modern economies where formal social security was largely absent, fertility decisions may also have been made in view of insuring income shocks which were hard to predict such as an income shock due to crop disease, a shortage in rainfall, a case of serious illness or a job loss. In this paper, I focus on the demographic transition in the United States covering the period 1870 to 1930 and explore whether variation in fertility among American settlers can be explained by variations in exposure to rainfall risks. Identification relies on fertility differences between farm and non-farm households within counties and over time. The results suggest that increased rainfall risk does indeed increase fertility among farming households but not among households with other occupations that are less dependent on rainfall. The channel is robust to other relevant forces such as returns to education and children's survival. The analysis also shows that this effect is reduced if risk management devices such as irrigation systems, formal financial institutions or machinery emerge. The findings contribute to the understanding of the demographic transition in the US and in risk-prone areas more generally.
    Keywords: demographic transition, rainfall risk, income shocks, insurance, historical data
    JEL: J13 N31 N32 O12 Q12
    Date: 2016–11
  8. By: Maurizio Iacopetta (OFCE/Sciences Po and SKEMA Business School)
    Abstract: A society can reap more benefits generated by an improvement in communication and transportation when the gap between privileged and less-privileged individuals is small. This hypothesis is investigated in a Kiyotaki-Wright search environment where people enjoy different rental positions. Historical evidence about the rise of Italian seaport cities during the Middle Ages, of the Netherlands in the 17th century, and about the French nobility's resistance to trade during the pre-revolutionary period is used to support the hypothesis.
    Date: 2016
  9. By: James Forder
    Abstract: It is noted that Harry G. Johnson was widely admired for his broad knowledge of economics, and particularly for the excellence and synthesizing quality of much of his writing. His discussions of the “Phillips curve” and related matters are considered. It is found that they are brief, inaccurate, and inconsistent. It is clear that, despite his reputation, they should not be treated as authoritative. It is further suggested that rather than supposing that Johnson’s knowledge and capabilities have been grossly exaggerated, it may be better to conclude that the Phillips curve was not nearly so important in the literature of the 1960s and 1970s as has been supposed.
    Keywords: Phillips curve,Harry Johnson,expectations,Phillips curve,Phillips curve myth
    JEL: B22 B29 E61
    Date: 2016–09–01
  10. By: Domini, Giacomo (UNU-MERIT, and University of Siena)
    Abstract: This work contributes to the recent literature on international exhibitions, and on the use of data from these events as a proxy for innovation in economic history. In particular, it investigates the nature of international exhibitions, the role they played in the early twentieth century, the reasons why economic agents attended them, the relationship between exhibition data and patent data, and their suitability for measuring innovation. To do so, it makes an in-depth analysis of the International Exhibition held in Turin in 1911, and it matches a new database, built from the catalogue of this event, with data about patents granted in Italy. It is found that exhibiting and patenting did mostly occur separately, as exhibitions mainly worked as markets for products, which attracted firms, while patents were primarily taken out by individuals, most of whom might not be interested in that function. Yet, the presence is observed of a qualified niche of independent inventors, using the exhibition as a market for ideas, i.e. to advertise their findings to a selected public of potential investors, buyers or licensees.
    Keywords: patents, inventions, international exhibitions, markets for innovation, Italy
    JEL: N74 O31 O33
    Date: 2016–11–01
  11. By: Robert Allen
    Abstract: Abstract: Schumpeter’s ‘perennial gale of creative destruction’ blew strongly through Britain during the Industrial Revolution, as the factory mode of production displaced the cottage mode in many industries. A famous example is the shift from hand loom weaving to the use of power looms in mills. As the use of power looms expanded, the price of cloth fell, and the ‘golden age of the hand loom weaver’ gave way to poverty and unemployment. This paper argues that the fates of the hand and machine processes were even more closely interwoven. With the expansion of factory spinning in the 1780s, the demand for hand loom weavers soared in order to process the newly available cheap yarn. The rise in demand raised the earnings of hand loom weavers, thereby, creating the ‘golden age’. The high earnings also increased the profitability of developing the power loom by raising the value of the labour that it saved. This meant that less efficient–hence, cheaper to develop--power looms could be brought into commercial use than would have been the case had the golden age not occurred. The counterfactual possibilities are explored with a model of the costs of weaving by hand and by power. The cottage mode of production was an efficient system of producing cloth, but it self-destructed as its expansion after 1780 raised the demand for sector-specific skills, thus providing the incentive for inventors to develop a power technology to replace it. The power loom, in turn, devalued the old skills, so poverty accompanied progress.
    Keywords: Technological Change, Invention, Technological Unemployment, Creative Destruction
    JEL: N63 N34 O31
    Date: 2016–03–02
  12. By: Zehnder, Christian; Herz, Holger; Bonardi, Jean-Philippe
    Abstract: Research on leadership in economics has developed in parallel to the literature in management and psychology and links between the fields have been sparse. Whereas modern leadership scholars mostly focus on transformational and related leadership styles, economists have mainly emphasized the role of contracts, control rights, and incentives. We argue that both fields could profit from enriching their approach with insights from the other field. We review and synthesize the economics literature on leadership in organizations and discuss how leadership scholars in management and psychology can benefit from the detailed understanding of transactional methods that economists have developed. We link the contributions in economics to a broad set of topics including the foundations of leadership, leader emergence, and leader effectiveness. At the same time, we also point out limitations of the economic approach and outline how the integration of leadership research and economics would broaden the scope of future studies.
    Keywords: Leadership; Economics; Foundations; Emergence; Effectiveness
    JEL: D3 D21 D23 M50
    Date: 2016–11–11
  13. By: Pierre van der Eng
    Abstract: The Australian subsidiary of Dutch MNE Philips came under secret service surveillance and faced risk of government takeover as enemy property during World War II. It was also excluded from government contracts for communications equipment, while forced to reduce civilian production. These threats to its assets and operations required the firm to develop an adaptive corporate strategy in order to minimise political risk and also take advantage of opportunities that war production offered. This case study offers a rich insight into the processes an MNE employs to pursue dynamic strategic responses to host country political imperatives, confirming hypotheses of Ring et al. (1990). It demonstrates the relevance of historical cases to substantiating theory in strategic management.
    Keywords: political risk, Australia, Philips, electronics industry, World War II
    JEL: L20 L63 M19 N47 N87
    Date: 2016–11
  14. By: Austin, Gareth; Frankema, Ewout; Jerven, Morten
    Abstract: This paper reviews the 'long twentieth-century' development of 'modern' manufacturing in Sub-Saharan Africa from colonization to the present. We argue that classifying Africa generically as a 'late industrializer' is inaccurate. To understand the distinctively African pattern of manufacturing growth, we focus our discussion on the dynamic interplay between the region's specific endowment structures, global economic relationships and government policies. We conclude that the case of Sub-Saharan Africa is best characterized as interrupted industrial growth instead of sustained convergence on world industrial leaders. This is partly because, until very recently, the factor endowments made it very costly for states to pursue industrialization; and partly because successive rulers, colonial and post-colonial, have rarely had both the capacity to adopt and the dedication to sustain policies that modified the region's existing comparative advantage in primary production, by using their fiscal and regulatory powers effectively to promote industrialization.
    Keywords: Colonial institutions; economic history; Industrialization; Manufacturing; Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: N17 N60 O14
    Date: 2016–11
  15. By: Henrekson, Magnus (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Lyssarides, Odd (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: Sweden is often described as a country where intergenerational social mobility is high, but research also shows that social mobility decreases the closer one gets to the extreme top of the income distribution. We study the occupational mobility for an extreme elite group in society: the CEOs of Sweden’s 30 largest public firms since 1945. To our knowledge, there exists no similar study for any other country. The study is based on a hand-collected data set consisting of 229 former and current CEOs who grew up in Sweden and born between the late1800s and 1970. We have information about paternal occupations for 185 (81 percent) of them, and 60 percent grew up in Social Group I, which implies an overrepresentation for Social Group I by a factor of 9.7. Consequently, Social Groups II and III are underrepresented. However, almost four out of ten CEOs born in the 1940s came from Social Group III and toward the end of the period, the share coming from Social Group II roughly doubled to about 35 percent. Wallenberg-controlled firms were slightly more likely to have CEOs with a Social Group III background. More than half of the CEOs have a father holding a managerial position. Seven of the CEOs have noble surnames, which implies an overrepresentation equal to that of Social Group I; however, among CEOs born after 1939 only two come from a noble family, which suggests a drop in the advantage conferred by a noble background. Finally, less than five percent of the CEOs were members of a family that was a controlling owner or had a father who was also a large-firm CEO.
    Keywords: Social mobility; Chief executive officers; Occupational mobility; Sweden
    JEL: J00 J62 Z13
    Date: 2016–11–03
  16. By: Riccardo De Bonis (Bank of Italy, Directorate General for Economics, Statistics and Research)
    Abstract: This work rehearses the main themes of Piketty.s book and summarizes the debate it triggered. The paper dwells on the rise in the ratio of household wealth to GDP in the rich countries since the 1980s and the role played by the build-up of saving and variations in house and financial asset prices; on the various justifications put forward for the increasing income and wealth inequality that has accompanied the rise in the wealth/income ratio, especially in the US and Britain; on the relationship between the rate of return on capital and the economic growth rate; on the ties between rising income inequality and the financial crisis of 2007-08; on the feasibility of Piketty.s proposals for higher taxation of top incomes and a progressive global tax on net household wealth; and on the progress that has been made in the US and Europe in exchanging information on citizens. income and foreign assets.
    Keywords: ratio household wealth/GDP; distribution of income and wealth; taxation; welfare State
    JEL: C80 D14 D31 D91 E62 H26
    Date: 2016–11
  17. By: Horst Hanusch (Institute of Economics, University of Augsburg, Augsburg)
    Abstract: In the last decades the world changed dramatically. From a global point of view three disruptive processes are on their way which can be called revolutionary: a political, a technological and an economic revolution. This paper aims to give an overview when and how these movements started what the essence of these processes is and with which consequences we will have to deal with in the future. Concerning the political revolution the year 1990 can be characterized as a historical landmark because of two reasons: At first, it finished with orthodox communism as it was practiced primarily in the former Soviet Union. Secondly, this year created a new illusion which is described at its best by Francis Fukuyama in his book "The End of History" (1990). The Western form of a liberal representative democracy had overruled communism as its most important counterpart and it promised to stay forever as a political system when combined with a capitalistic market economy. That means in last consequence "the end of history". The paper shows how this illusive thinking has been demolished in the last twenty years and in which way a new regime of political thinking, the "autocratic system" of political decision making, is gaining relevance worldwide in developed as well as in developing countries. Starting in China and spreading over to other countries in the second half of the last century it now even reached countries in Europe which after 1990 tried to install a liberal representative democracy with great empathy, for instance Russia, Hungary, the Czech Republic and recently also Poland. The paper tries to grasp this process, to find answers why the attractiveness of the democratic ideal is fading away in these days and to show which consequences this political transformation process might have for the global economy. The last two decades of the 20 th century set off a third great wave of technological invention and disruptive innovation, the "digital revolution". Radical advances in computing-, information- and communication-technology may deliver a similar mixture of transformation as societies had experienced in the centuries before, getting acquainted to the steam engine, electricity, the telegraph and telephone for instance. The larger part of economists and scientists today sticks to the opinion that this new technological revolution will change fundamentally essential characteristics of the three pillars which constitute a socio-economic system: the financial, the public and the real sector. The paper intends to show how each of these pillars are already affected by the eruptive development of digitalization and how this process may go on in the future with all its social, economic and institutional consequences. If the 1990’s are taken as a historical landmark for fundamental changes in the world, one miraculous development has to be stressed as most important: The economic "catching up" process of the developing world, especially in those emerging countries called the BRICS group consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. In the last 20 years these nations’ growth has far outpaced that of the US and the EU, with China already having become the second largest economy in the world. The paper will show how this growth phenomenon already changed fundamentally the structure of the world economy and which consequences can be expected in the future, if a country like China will be successful in combining elements of the political and the technological revolution in its development strategy. This scenario and the economic system standing behind may be called "state capitalism" and it is thoroughly in conflict with what is named as "entrepreneurial capitalism", concretized at its best in the US and its Silicon Valley. If we go back to Schumpeter, the Silicon Valley example can be pictured as a realistic portrait of what he had in mind in his 1912 book (The Theory of Economic Development). Whereas the Chinese kind of forming the country’s development process and its innovation culture seems to be more in accordance with the Schumpeter book of 1942 (Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy). The paper will at the end shortly focus on this interesting issue, which might be called a "Schumpeterian Battle of Systems", namely "Entrepreneurial Capitalism" against "State Capitalism". Perhaps, this antagonism might shape the development of the world economy in the coming decades of the 21 st century more than any other event.
    Keywords: Development Economics, Institutional Theory, Technological Change, Schumpeterianism
    JEL: B52 O3 P10
    Date: 2016–11
  18. By: Tisdell, Clem; Svizzero, Serge
    Abstract: After a long period of substantial economic growth and population increase in the Early Bronze Age, the reason(s) for the relatively rapid disappearance of Únĕtice populations in Central Europe and the subsequent lack of population in much of their former territory for around 200 years remains a mystery. Various theories have been proposed for these developments, such as changed long distance trade routes or the depletion of materials for bronze-making. However, these fail to explain why large areas formerly occupied by the Únĕtice remained unoccupied (or virtually so) for so long after their abandonment by the Únĕtice. We argue on the basis of demographic and other scientific evidence that the collapse of the Únĕtice was in all probability primarily the result of unsustainable ecological development. Human-induced changes to ecosystems eventually reduced agropastoral productivity, substantially reduced the standard of living of the Únĕtice and resulted in the abandonment of many of their settlements. The extent and nature of ecological damage was such that it took much time for natural ecosystems to recover sufficiently before the affected former Únĕtice areas were economically suitable for resettlement. The possibility that resource shortages for bronze-making and changed trade routes contributed to the unsustainable development of Únĕtice settlements is also considered.
    Keywords: Agropastoral sustainability, agricultural surplus, Central Europe, Early Bronze Age, ecological sustainability, ecosystem change, human migration, natural resource depletion, population pressures, sustainable development, Únĕtice., Community/Rural/Urban Development, N53, Q00, Q01,
    Date: 2016–10
  19. By: Jurajda, Štepán (CERGE-EI); Kovač, Dejan (CERGE-EI)
    Abstract: We propose a novel empirical strategy for identifying and studying nationalism using name choices. We first show that having been given a first name that is synonymous with the leader(s) of the fascist Croatian state during World War II predicts volunteering for army service in the 1991-1995 Croatian war of independence and dying during the conflict. Next, we use the universe of Croatian birth certificates and the information about nationalism conveyed by first names to contrast the evolution of nationalism and its intergenerational transmission across locations affected by extreme war-related experiences. Our evidence suggests that in ex-Yugoslav Croatia, nationalism was on a continuous rise starting in the 1970s, that its rise was curbed in areas where con- centration camps were located during WWII, and that nationalist fathers consider the nationalism-transmission trade-off between within-family and society-wide transmission channels suggested by Bisin and Verdier (2001).
    Keywords: Ustaše, nationalism, names, intergenerational transmission
    JEL: D64 D74 Z1
    Date: 2016–10
  20. By: Bell, Clive
    Abstract: The object of this essay is to describe and analyse contractual relations in two villages in North-east Bihar at a time when the so-called ‘green revolution’ promised much and the region had just started to benefit from canal irrigation. It is against this historical background that I will examine, with the benefit of hindsight, the functioning of the markets for labour and tenancies, and their interplay with those for draught power and credit. Theory sheds much light on why such richly diverse arrangements prevailed, but despite notable subsequent advances, it still leaves certain important questions without a fully satisfactory answer.
    Keywords: agrarian contracts; Bihar; village studies
    Date: 2016–11–15
  21. By: Hurley, Terrance M.; Pardey, Philip G.; Rao, Xudong; Andrade, Robert S.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies,
    Date: 2016–08
  22. By: Graziella Bertocchi; Monica Bozzano
    Abstract: In this study we review the literature on the origins and implications of family structure in historical perspective with a focus on Italian provinces. Furthermore we present newly- collected data on three of the main features of family structure: female mean age at marriage, the female celibacy rate, and the fraction of illegitimate births. The data are collected at the provincial level for 1871, the year of Italy's political unification. The analysis of the data allows us to confirm and quantify the geographic differentiation in family patterns across the country. We also illustrate the links between family structure and a set of socio-economic outcomes, in the short, medium, and long run.
    Keywords: Family structure, Italian provinces, institutions, culture, development
    Date: 2016–11
  23. By: Bertocchi, Graziella (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia); Bozzano, Monica (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia)
    Abstract: In this study we review the literature on the origins and implications of family structure in historical perspective with a focus on Italian provinces. Furthermore we present newly-collected data on three of the main features of family structure: female mean age at marriage, the female celibacy rate, and the fraction of illegitimate births. The data are collected at the provincial level for 1871, the year of Italy's political unification. The analysis of the data allows us to confirm and quantify the geographic differentiation in family patterns across the country. We also illustrate the links between family structure and a set of socio-economic outcomes, in the short, medium, and long run.
    Keywords: family structure, Italian provinces, institutions, culture, development
    JEL: J12 N33 O1 Z1
    Date: 2016–10
  24. By: Quinn, William
    Abstract: Can limits to arbitrage explain historical asset price reversals? During the "British Bicycle Mania" of 1896-1898, cycle share prices rose by 200 per cent before falling 76 per cent from their peak value. This paper argues that arbitrage during this episode was limited by the risk of being cornered after short selling shares. Three corners in cycle company shares occurred during the "mania", two of which resulted in substantial losses for short-sellers. The first corner corresponded with a structural break in cycle share prices, and crosssectional analysis reveals that companies for which cornering risk was greater experienced more pronounced mispricing.
    Keywords: market corner,short selling,bicycle mania
    JEL: G19 N23
    Date: 2016
  25. By: Reyn van Ewijk (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz); Maarten Lindeboom (VU University Amsterdam)
    Abstract: During wars, countless people suffer, even during times without direct exposure to violence, as they are exposed to conditions such as poorer nutritional situations, stress, recessions, and sub optimally functioning health care systems. This was the situation during much of World War II in three occupied countries: France, Belgium and The Netherlands. Biological theory predicts that the health of those who were prenatally exposed to such adverse circumstances will be worse once they have reached old age. But for WWII, such effects have thus far been proven only for famines and other extreme exposures that differed from those experienced by the majority of women in these occupied countries who were pregnant during WWII. We show that – contrary to expectations – prenatal exposure to WWII in the three countries does not lead to poorer health among the older population. We even find a better health among exposed females, but demonstrate that this is due to selective mortality during infanthood among the war cohorts and to selective fertility during WWII. These selection effects are likely to be stronger during more extreme circumstances than the ones studied here. Therefore, previous research on long-term effects of such prenatal exposures may have underestimated effects. Negative health effects as a result of prenatal exposure to WWII in France, Belgium and The Netherlands – outside of the well-known effects of the Dutch famine – are absent or at most very small.
    Date: 2016
  26. By: Jan Kregel
    Abstract: Against the background of modern-day monetary proposals, ranging from a return to the gold standard to the wholesale abolition of currency, this paper seeks to draw implications from David Ricardo's "Proposals for an Economical and Secure Currency" for plans to reform the operation of central banks and extraordinary monetary policy. Although 200 years old, the "Ingot plan," proposed during a period in which gold convertibility was suspended, appears to be applicable to modern monetary conditions and suggests possible avenues of reform.
    Keywords: David Ricardo; Monetary Systems; Ingot Plan; Gold Standard
    JEL: B12 E42 N10
    Date: 2016–11
  27. By: Jakob de Haan; Jan-Egbert Sturm
    Abstract: Using a panel fixed effects model for a sample of 121 countries covering 1975-2005, we examine how financial development, financial liberalization and banking crises are related to income inequality. In contrast with most previous work, our results suggest that all finance variables increase income inequality. The level of financial development conditions the impact of financial liberalization on inequality. Also the quality of political institutions conditions the impact of financial liberalization on income inequality, in contrast to the quality of economic institutions. Our main findings are robust for using random effects, cross-country regressions and legal origin as instrument for financial development.
    Keywords: income inequality; financial liberalization; financial sector size; financial crises; political institutions
    JEL: D31 D63 F02 O11 O15
    Date: 2016–11
  28. By: Dr. Jochen Dieckmann (GWS - Institute of Economic Structures Research); Dr. Barbara? Breitschopf (GWS - Institute of Economic Structures Research); Dr. Ulrike Lehr (GWS - Institute of Economic Structures Research)
    Date: 2016

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